Our latest post dated 31st of October dealt with the tradition and gastronomic variety of the Vega Baja, south of the province of Alicante. Today we will see how to cook some of the most typical dishes of the area.
Cocido con pelotas
The pelotas are meatballs made with turkey blood, meat from the same animal, egg, parsley, garlic and pine nuts. This well-stirred dough is cooked slowly with potatoes, chickpeas, vegetables, seasoned with saffron and salt.
Paella de conejo y serranas
The paella de conejo y serranas is paella made with rabbits and snails. Fry the rabbit once it has been chopped and seasoned with salt, add roasted tomatoes, boil with water until the meat is soft, season with the saffron and finally add the rice that boils for about 20 minutes and garnish with strips of red pepper.
Arroz con costras
Arroz con costras is a crusted rice. Fry the chicken or rabbit meat with tomato, season and add the rice. When it is half cooked, beat the eggs and add them on top, Finally, put the paellero (the paellero is a large frying pan used to prepare the paella) in the oven and finish cooking and browning.
The almojábana is a typical pastry of the area. Boil in a pan 3 and a half cups of water and 1 glass of oil. When it gets boiling, add slowly half a kilo of flour, mix until the dough gets homogeneous. Allow to cool. In a clay pot, add the dough and 12 eggs, knead with your hands until there is a fine paste. Then go forming large rolls and place them in a tray. Put in the over for baking. Finally, add honey and sprinkle with sugar.
The mona is another traditional pastry from the province of Alicante. Prepare 3 kilos of flour, 1 dozen eggs, 1 yeast pill, 1 kilo of sugar, lemon scrape, 2 glasses of milk (in total half a litre) and a glass of oil. Take half a yeast pill. Knead to make approximately one kilo of flour with 1 glass of hot milk. When the dough is open, add the other half tablet dissolved in a glass of hot milk. Add a glass of oil, 12 eggs, the scrape of lemon with the rest of the three kilos of flour. Once finished, let rest for a while (approximately 3-4 hours). When the dough is raised, put it into the oven. Mould the dough until you get the shapes of monas, place them on the oven trays and allow to rest again. Wet the top part of the monas with beaten egg (using a brush) and sprinkle with sugar. Put again in the oven until they are golden brown at medium temperature (less than 200º).
The toña is another famous pastry of the region. You will need a quarter of anise, half a litre of oil, a quarter of sugar, lemon peel and 1 kilo of flour. Heat the oil with lemon peel and add the flour. Add all the ingredients and knead until it gets smooth. Make a pastry shape of about 1 cm thick and with the available moulds, make round shapes. Extend and shape the borders with your fingers. Make drawings in the centre. Put in the oven tray to cook until they are golden brown. Then add honey and sprinkle with sugar.
The orejetas are typical pastries. You will need 3 eggs, 100 grams of butter, water, 2 soft drinks, salt and flour. Mix all the ingredients until a dough is obtained. Then, extend and cut into thin sheets. Fry them in abundant hot oil. Finally, sprinkle with icing sugar.
Tarta de calabaza
The tarta de calabaza is a pumpkin pie. Ingredients are 1 and a half kilos of boiled pumpkin, 1 kilo of sugar, half a litre of oil, half a tablet of baker’s yeast and 3 kilos of flour. Boil the pumpkin until it becomes soft. Drain and remove the water. Weigh and mix in a container the pumpkin pulp, the sugar, the oil and the yeast. All the ingredients are mixed with flour. Then use the dough to make balls and allow to rest during about an hour at room temperature. Afterwards, crush and mould to make pastries. Make some cuts before putting them in the oven previously heated to 200ºC. The cooking time should be about half an hour. Once cooked, remove and add honey and sugar.
The torta escalada is another typical pastry. Ingredients are 2,300 kilos of flour, 1 litre of olive oil, a quarter litre of anise, a quarter litre of orange juice, 850 grams of sugar and soda. Heat the oil. Put the flour and sugar in a bowl and, when the oil is boiling, mix it with the flour and sugar. Mix everything with a wooden spatula and add the anise, the orange juice and the soda. Mould the dough with your hands and use moulds to make the shapes. Place into the oven and add honey and sugar.
We will dedicate our next post to the most representative fresh products of the area such as oranges, pomegranates, figs and dates. To be continued…
We invite our readers who have missed our last post related to the gastronomy of the south of the Costa Blanca, to read it here.